I am Triwik, an intern at Voice of America (VOA) Learning English in Washington D.C. I am also a student at Ohio University (OU) in Athens, Ohio. This is my first time working in the U.S. It has been a great experience to be able to work in an American working culture.
It was not easy to get an internship, especially for summer, because many other students are also applying for the same positions. I started applying for summer internships in December.
I first got an internship offer in March, but the company wanted me to start working in April. I declined the offer because I was still busy with my spring semester in April. It was disappointing, I kept hoping that another good internship opportunity would come my way.
The good news came in April. VOA Learning English contacted me and scheduled a phone interview with me. I practiced doing an interview to prepare myself. The real interview went well — and they offered me the job!
Are you trying to get an internship? Here are some tips that might be useful.
* First, you need to ask yourself: What kinds of internship do want to do? When do you want to do it? Where do you want to do the internship?
Here in the U.S., many internship opportunities are available during the summer, from May to August. Some of them are available during winter in December and January. I decided to do an internship in summer because I have no classes during summer.
It is good to know what companies that you want to work for. At the beginning, I wanted to do an internship at VOA. I checked its website and found the vacancies.
It is better to apply for an internship that matches your interest and future career. I actually got another offer from a different organization. But I decided to take an internship at VOA because it fits my future career in communication.
There are two types of internships: paid and unpaid. The competition to get paid internships might be higher. I myself did not care much about this. For me, the experience of working in the U.S. is more important than the money.
* After ensuring yourself on the internship that you want to do, you should start looking for information on internships.
You can look into the websites of the companies. You can also get the information from social media networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.
* Prepare a solid cover letter and résumé
Generally, future employers will ask for cover letter, résumé or curriculum vitae (CV) and sometimes work samples. The cover letter is usually one-page long. In it, you should tell them the position that you apply for, the reasons why you are applying for the internship, your expectations after taking the internship, and your availability. The résumé (or CV) has information on your educational background, skills and work experience.
It is always good to ask a native English speaker to read your cover letter and résumé. Since English is not my first language, I went to the writing center on campus to have my cover letter and résumé checked by native speakers.
* Apply to as many as internships you can
This will increase your chance of getting accepted. I applied for more than 10 positions in various organizations around the U.S. It is also good to apply for internships as early as possible. Some employers post summer internship positions as early as November.
* Prepare for the interview
Prospective employers usually interview applicants through phone or Skype. Some of them will ask for your availability or give you an interview schedule for you to choose from. You can practice doing the interview with friends. I myself like to practice in front of the mirror.
Make sure you know your prospective employers well. At the end of the interview, interviewer usually asks whether you have some questions. You can prepare one or two questions. It could be about the employer itself or the application process.
*Don’t give up!
Other than the skills and preparations, it takes efforts, strong motivation and determination to get an internship. The most important thing is to never give up. Keep on trying and think positively. If you don’t get an internship today, you might get it tomorrow.
Have you ever gotten an internship? Share your experience here. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have! I am happy to help. – Triwik
Words in This Blog
decline – v. to say no to something
prospective – adj. likely to be something in the future